"Originally it was Joulupukki."
December 22, 2017 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Santa in Finland, Where Marketing Triumphs Over Geography: "Fifty years ago, travel marketers got the idea to attract tourists to remote Lapland and settled on Rovaniemi for its train station and airport. For many years, though, the Santa Claus attraction jostled for visitors with tours to see the Northern Lights or go on reindeer safaris; most of those who came were from countries with a strong Christmas tradition, bringing children along on the ultimate Santa’s Grotto experience." Today, well over 300,000 people come to Rovaneimi (population 50,000) each year to visit Santa Claus Village.
posted by mandolin conspiracy (5 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The people sitting by the fire in the first article look miserable.
posted by AFABulous at 12:41 PM on December 22, 2017

I would wager that the ambient temperare was “Cold as fuck” (in Celcius) and “Can you believe how goddamn cold it is why are we sitting still” (in Fahrenheit) when that photo was taken.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:58 PM on December 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have a friend who worked the first part of her ski season in Lapland. Apparently it was all the stuff that 18 and 19 year olds do on ski seasons - drinking and short lived relationships - with the added bonus that when you were on shift as an elf you had to stay in character at all times. I guess it's a bit like disneyland, but cold.
posted by leo_r at 12:59 PM on December 22, 2017

Living in Never Very Cold Southern California growing up, I knew that Santa's Village was at Lake Arrowhead. The original owner promoted it with some absurd Santa Claus fantasy shorts, since immortalized by MST3K/RiffTrax. I see that it closed down a decade ago but some smart/crazy entrepreneurs have built a larger theme park around it and reopened it as "SkyPark at Santa's Village". Also, there used to be a Santa Claus, California in Carpinteria, between Santa Barbara and Ventura with a big Santa statue visible from the 101 freeway going up the coast. And when L.A. started doing a holiday-themed parade the night before Thanksgiving to compete with Macy's Parade in New York, they called it the "Santa Claus Lane Parade" with official proclamations renaming Hollywood Blvd. for one day a year. But instead of giant balloon models of fictional characters, they had celebrities in cars waving to the crowd... I've said they assumed the stars' inflated egos made them comparable.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:44 PM on December 22, 2017

Finnish Santa previously
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:39 PM on December 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

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